Celebrate the Year of the Horse

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[youtube id=”3ey7_dcnD54″] by Sophie Gayot   If the New Year celebration based on the Gregorian calendar only lasts for a single day, it is not the case for the Chinese New Year, as it lasts fifteen days.   For the Gregorian calendar, celebrations are held on December 31, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day is a holiday. The lunisolar Chinese calendar determines the date of Chinese New Year, so it changes every year. For 2014, it started on January 31st under the sign of the horse, so you have until February 14 to celebrate.   Watch my exclusive video interview above with Hakkasan Beverly Hills general manager Albert Charbonneau to put you in the mood for Chinese cuisine. Find more Chinese restaurants around you by browsing GAYOT’s professional restaurant review database.   Some history explains the significance of the color red and the use of firecrackers when celebrating Chinese New Year. They are used to fight the mythical beast called the Nian, which would eat livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. Over the course of time, the villagers found out that the Nian was afraid of red, and they would also scare him with firecrackers. With these two artifices employed, the Nian never came back.   You can click on each photo to enlarge. Photos © Gayot Hakkasan on Urbanspoon